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A KEYBOARD TO MAKE KIDS COMFY IN CYBERSPACE
An Israeli company has developed a computer keyboard just for young children. The ComfyKeyboard offers tots as young as 2 years old a set of large, colorful buttons to push--with an entire palm, if need be.
What kind of programs would such a young child be able to use? Not a word processor or spreadsheet, that's for sure. But packaged with the keyboard is ComfyLand, a series of animated digital cartoons that run on IBM-compatible PCs ($129). The cartoons feature Comfy, a small boy, and his animal friends Jumpy, Feely, Buddy, and Snaily. By pressing on the 21 keys on the ComfyKeyboard, which are either color-coded or labeled with pictures, a child can change the colors, weather, and musical sounds in the cartoon. This type of interaction can prepare children for the "multimedia, high-tech society of the future," says Itai Kohavi, founder and president of Comfy Interactive Movies Ltd. in Tel Aviv.EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY